DRM

Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation

This is a generic acronym used to describe a system of software, often including technical measures, used by copyright holders who "claim" that this stops or reduces copyright infringement. DRM in fact does not affect those engaged in unlawful activities, and can only impose hidden digitally encoded contract terms on law abiding citizens.

Please see: Alphabet soup of acronyms: TPM, DRM, TCPA, RMS, RMI, Protecting property rights in a digital world.

Protecting the property, privacy and other rights of owners: Bill C-19 and Bill C-11

Given all the discussion about how the debate on Bill C-19 ended (Examples: Sheila Dabu Nonato for Postmedia News, Kady O'Malley for CBC) I decided to send Mr Larry Miller (MP for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound) an email.

I will let fellow technology owners know if I get a reply.

Response from Minister Paradis to email about C-11

On the 21st September, I emailed the minister about C-11. I asked specifically why the government was making it illegal to bypass the region encoding to watch the DVDs I purchased in Europe here in Canada. Here's the response I received today.

Canadians rally for day of action against Bill C-11 (Internet Lockdown)

Press release below. See for more details.


For Immediate Release

Canadians rally for day of action against Bill C-11 (Internet Lockdown)

Public Outcry Heats up Against Legislation that threatens Internet Freedom

February 10, 2012 – Today, public outcry will grow to new proportions for what many are calling “the Internet Lockdown”. People across Canada plan to come together online and offline to rally against Bill C-11, known as the Copyright Modernization Act.

The Canadian public outcry comes in the wake of the fervor surrounding SOPA—a hotly contested copyright bill that millions of Americans and make websites like Wikipedia and reddit successfully came together to defeat.

Canada should not ratify ACTA

I have drafted a new submission to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for their ongoing consultation (skip to bottom) on the deceptively named Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). I haven't yet sent it in to the department, but want to generate discussion.

It is available anonymously as a Google Doc as well as a PDF from my webserver.

If you are looking for SOPA/PIPA or C-11 comparisons, please note that ACTA contains beyond-WIPO protection for TPMs and thus includes the harmful effects I discussed in my comparison between Bill C-11 and SOPA/PIPA?.

Is Bill C-11 related to SOPA/PIPA?

Probably the claim you will read most often in recent weeks from my friendly archvillain Jason J Kee on his twitter feed is that, There is NO COMPARISON b/t #C11 & SOPA. While he is playing with words when he makes this claim, I think it is useful to discuss the narrow way in which he is correct as well as the ways he is trying to distract people from the similarities.

Copyright restrictions must make sense for entire term of copyright

One of the other topics that my friendly archvillain Jason J Kee and I touched on via twitter on Friday was the term of copyright.

I remembered that when he was in front of the C-32 committee he claimed that the format shifting aspects of C-32 (Now C-11) didn't apply to video games. He started to make similar claims in our discussion, started by the claim that "by definition, software is never platform neutral", and later that there is "no reasonable consumer expectation to format shift games".

If you only consider the few months after a video game is released, when the most money is currently made by the game developer, Jason's suggestions my appear reasonable. Games tend to push the limits of the hardware they are designed for, and thus are tied to that hardware for the time when those limits still apply.

Unfortunately, the government granted monopoly of copyright last far more than a few months or a few years.

Targeting technology ownership rather than copyright infringement

The most extreme positions in the copyright debate tend to be expressed from anonymous or pseudonymous entities. Whether it is the group officially calling themselves Anonymous, or the astroturf Balanced Copyright group, they will attack the property rights and/or copyright of others without the honesty of doing so under their real names as citizens.

There are exceptions, and it is far easier to have legitimate policy debates with engaged citizens. On the other side of the debate from where I stand are people like Barry Sookman and James Gannon from the law firm McCarthy Tétrault, John Degen as an individual author (Previously with PSAC), or Jason J Kee who is currently Director of Policy and Legal Affairs for the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC).

Of these the individual who expresses opinions furthest from my own is likely Jason J Kee.

Hill Times letter: Copyright infringement is not theft, says McOrmond

"Reprinted with permission from The Hill Times, Jan. 30, 2012."

Re: “Digital piracy is theft, Canadian jobs stolen,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 23, p. 11).

People who wish their rights to be respected should not advocate infringing other peoples rights as a solution.

Copyright infringement is not theft. Copyright is a temporary government granted monopoly. While it is true this monopoly can be bought and sold, making it a type of property, infringement doesn’t change possession of what was owned. The closest analogy between copyright infringement and laws relating to tangible property is trespass.

Players or pawns: Big Copyright's war on technology?

One of Canada's best technology journalists, Jesse Brown, interviewed Techdirt.com editor Mike Masnick on the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act. While I agree with most of the discussion, I want to challenge some of the conclusions made at the end of the interview. It was discussed how "big copyright" had a history of lobbying, while tech firms were part of a start-up culture and until recently didn't play that game. This was behind why "big copyright" has been so successful at pushing forward laws which break some of the best features of modern technology, while at the same time not helping copyright holders.

This is based on the idea that there is only one tech sector involved, and that "big copyright" are in control of this game rather than being pawns of a more powerful player.

House stands adjourned until Monday, January 30, 2012

As the Hansard reads, Parliament is now adjourned until Monday, January 30, 2012.

MPs are in their electoral districts, which is the best time for people to contact their MPs and let them know what they think about Bill C-11.

Most MPs, regardless of party affiliation, remain focused on how TPMs may circumvent fair dealings. While this is appropriate when discussing use control TPMs, access control TPMs in C-11 presumably regulate activities never before contemplated in Copyright law.

Conservatives believe this is something where consumer choice can solve any problems, not recognising that much of the harm from abuses of TPMs impact people other than the copyright holder and their audiences.

MPs remain largely unaware that there are 4 classes of owners impacted by Paracopyright, not only the familiar two which the Copyright portions of the bill impact.

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